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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    54

    Post

    Have any of you done winter feeding of a TBH?

    I know that in principle one shouldn't need to feed a properly managed hive. But when you must, how do you do it?

    There's no obvious way to get food directly to the cluster, since the bars prevent access from above, and you don't want to be moving combs at all.

    I've tried fondant, set just beyond the last comb, inside the hive. Do you have experience with other approaches?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    I've known people who fed regular hives by simply dumping in sugar. I suppose you could put some at the back of the hive. But I just keep an open feeder all winter and when the weather is warm they can feed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    54

    Post

    What do you use for an open feeder?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    I have five, five gallon buckets with floats in them. Less makes for a lot of drowned bees because they get piled on top of each other. Open feeding requires enough space (buckets) that the bees can get to the syrup without drowning each other.

    Here's the float:
    http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/BucketFloat.JPG

    I have also put miller feeders out away from the hives and used those for open feeders. But the buckets are by far the easiest and cheapest method I've used.

  5. #5
    demerl51 Guest

    Post

    Hi David,

    There aren't many winter feeding options once the winters are hard and the bees tightly clustered. I have fed standard nucs by dumping sugar on the bottom board and toward the back of the hive.

    If the bees can break their cluster, fondant or sugar will work. Once they get accustomed to feeding there, they will even work in during the winter if necessary.

    The really good news is that bees don't need much in the way of stores for most of the winter. I have kept hives in an indoor overwintering building and monitored weight loss. Most hives would loose less than 5 lbs/month throughout the winter and some of that weight is bee loss. The real weight losses occur once the bees become active in early spring. And at that time sugar at the rear of the hive would work great.

    Regards
    Dennis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I was so worried that I put a 5 liter can of syrup and a pound of fondant. I recently had a warm day and opened them up and found 90% of the fondant gone with a circle of bees around the rest.

    ------------------
    Procrastination is the assination of inspiration.

    Gary

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